Florida COVID-19 Reality Check – November 30th, 2021
Bottom Line: The news is about as good as we could hope for as we wait to see what the new omicron variant has in store for us. Florida entered this week averaging only 1,388 new daily cases of COVID-19 over the past week. That’s notable because it’s the fewest, not just this year, but since June of last year. Not only is Florida now at year and a half year lows in total COVID-19 cases, we’ve also completed five consecutive weeks with the fewest population adjusted COVID-19 cases in the country. With Thanksgiving get togethers behind us and the omicron variant likely soon to be upon us, the upcoming couple of weeks could prove to be pivotal for Florida as we head towards the peak months of the traditional flu season.
The Mayo Clinic’s tracker and projection tool has been highly accurate throughout the pandemic. Looking at the 14-day projections, the news is generally encouraging. They provide three different models. What they call the “lower bound” projection, or best-case scenario, the middle, or average projection and an upper bound, or worst-case scenario. I’ll work backwards from the worst-case to the best. Here’s what’s anticipated over the next couple of weeks.
Under the worst-case projection from the Mayo Clinic, Florida’s cases would increase by 79% from where we are today, leaving the state pacing around 2,068 new cases daily in two weeks. The average projection has Florida seeing a 6% decrease in cases to around 1,305 daily cases. The best-case scenario continues to provide much better news. Under that scenario we’d see a decline in cases to around the earliest weeks of the pandemic with a decline of 40% over the next two weeks leaving us with around 828 daily cases.
It’s great to see that only one of the three models result in a spike in cases associated with Thanksgiving get togethers. That means there’s a two-thirds chance it doesn’t happen and we continue to see progress heading into mid-December. That’s encouraging, especially against the backdrop of omicron...fingers crossed.
Many experts expect a winter surge in cases, so perhaps we’re not out of the woods with the pandemic yet, however the odds generally remain in our favor for continued improvement for at least the next couple of weeks. And it remains best to be in Florida for any number of reasons, including currently having the fewest relative COVID-19 cases in the country.